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Fury of Badger Trust as cull by gassing gains credibility

By WMNPBowern  |  Posted: December 18, 2013

Badgers could be gassed as part of bovine TB battle

A badger emerges from its sett

Comments (142)

Efforts to win approval for gassing as a means of culling badgers in the battle against bovine TB have been condemned by the Badger Trust despite a pledge from Defra that it was continuing to investigate the method.

Jack Reedy, spokesman for the Trust which opposes the badger cull, said gassing was being “pushed up the agenda” following major shortcomings with the pilot culls to shoot free-running badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Somerset farmer Derek Mead backs the idea of gassing, targeting only TB infected setts, and has formed the Badger Welfare Association which he says is ready to undertake trials in Devon or Cornwall.

But gassing – formerly used as a means of culling all the animals in individual setts – has been outlawed as a means of control for 30 years and the Badger Trust says there is no justification to change that.

Mr Reedy said: “It was abandoned precisely because it was not sufficiently effective and was considered to be inhumane to a degree that was unacceptable to the public. A badger is a large, strong animal, like a dog. No one would think it acceptable to try to kill a dog with poison gas.”

Mr Reedy conceded it was possible to detect the TB bacillus at the entrance to badger setts but that did not necessarily confirm the badgers living there had the disease. “The question is was it carried there by another badger from another sett – it is so imprecise,” he warned.

The Government first commissioned investigations into the use of using carbon monoxide gas to cull badgers in October this year but in the intervening months – with the pilot culls to shoot free-running badgers falling well short of expectations – the idea has gained increasing credibility among many in the farming community who believe it can be shown to be humane and effective

However Mr Reedy said cattle controls, which are due to be stepped up still further, was the only guaranteed way to reduce the incidence of bovine TB. He said the number of cases of bovine TB in cattle had “levelled out” over the past year as a result of herd movement restrictions.

He accused the Government and the agricultural industry of backing shooting and gassing only because they were the cheapest options.

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142 comments

  • Charlespk  |  January 19 2014, 7:00PM

    RIP the Labour Party and the Lib-Dems. http://tinyurl.com/3lvlre (OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW AND DANCE)

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  • Charlespk  |  January 19 2014, 6:55PM

    Got you!!! . . Ha ha ha ha ha. You can't deny the science or the politics!!! . And I don't care if you do because I know I'm right about BOTH of them!!

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  • sweep123  |  January 19 2014, 6:44PM

    Charles is moving the goalposts with his science!

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  • sweep123  |  January 19 2014, 6:43PM

    Only the Tories could wage war on the gentle middle England Badger Trust. What next culling of ramblers as they destroy the countryside with there alpine poles and loud socks? Tory boys David Cameron and Owen Paterson just love hunting and so the message to badgers is:- If the guns don't get you the Fracking gas will. Love the Countryside, Love to kill! Love the money, love the Bankers! Rich and greedy, then vote Conservative!

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  • Charlespk  |  January 19 2014, 6:25PM

    Quite right. . VOTE UKIP!!!! But badgers still have to be culled. :)) The INDISPUTABLE, historically accurate, scientific facts. http://tinyurl.com/bw7jpxy (open in a new window)

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  • sweep123  |  January 19 2014, 6:17PM

    Only the Tories could wage war on the gentle middle England Badger Trust. What next culling of ramblers as they destroy the countryside with there alpine poles and loud socks? Tory boys David Cameron and Owen Paterson just love hunting and so the message to badgers is:- If the guns don't get you the Fracking gas will. Love the Countryside, Love to kill! Love the money, love the Bankers! Rich and greedy, then vote Conservative!

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  • Charlespk  |  January 19 2014, 4:48PM

    You sound like more like a Shop Steward than a Councillor. . You obviously have no understanding of any of the rural issues. . Only masochists now hope or think that the Labour Party will ever be trusted with power again, that's why all the hard working Labour voters who are embarrassed and so ashamed of "Benefit Street" are now joining UKIP in their droves!! . . 'Middle England' that Red Ed is now trying to desperately to woo is having to pay all the taxes to keep those in Ed's Benefit Street living in the style to which they have all become accustomed under a Labour government. You are all panicking now!! . The media is full of hysterical 'Facebook' commentators slandering the electorate because you've all been rumbled. . The architects of Benefit Street and the Mycobacterium bovis crisis have got no clothes!! . UKIP will bury the lot of them, then the closet UKIP politicians from all sides will come out! . David Davis for PM!!!

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  • sweep123  |  January 19 2014, 4:10PM

    Why cull baggers? CLA - Planning made easier for Solar farms/holiday homes Expansion of Game Bird Shooting NFU - No badgers, no bio-security improvements needed; Cheaper to product milk without wildlife considerations CA - Another Countryside Blood Sport to Enjoy Increases fox numbers so good for news Fox Hunting

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  • sweep123  |  January 19 2014, 4:09PM

    Only the Tories could wage war on the gentle middle England Badger Trust. What next culling of ramblers as they destroy the countryside with there alpine poles and loud socks? Tory boys David Cameron and Owen Paterson just love hunting and so the message to badgers is:- If the guns don't get you the Fracking gas will. Love the Countryside, Love to kill! Love the money, love the Bankers! Rich and greedy, then vote Conservative!

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  • Free2opine  |  January 19 2014, 3:03PM

    Why cull baggers? What , do you mean carpetbaggers!!??? A political candidate who seeks election in an area where they have no local connections!!!!! Well I could think of a few good reasons, just the same as I think that MP's who live in towns and cities, far removed from country life, should keep their noses out of countryside affairs i.e. the badger cull and fox hunting.

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